Ryan wins Ken Stephen Medal community award

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs second-rower Andrew Ryan has tonight won Rugby League’s prestigious Telstra Ken Stephen Medal, joining Toyota National Volunteer of the Year, Greg Carey from Warwick in Queensland, at the Sydney Town Hall as the One Community Awards kicked off 2010 Telstra Premiership Grand Final Week celebrations. <br><br> ‘Bobcat’s’ Telstra Ken Stephen Medal rewards his years of outstanding service to the game, both on and off the field, and his devotion to community programs and charities such as Camp Quality, Beyond Blue, Ronald McDonald House, Bandage Bear Cup, the Australian Disability Foundation and the Andrew Ryan Captain’s Cup. <br><br> The gala event, which saw more than 300 of the game’s grass-roots heroes celebrate with a host of NRL stars, also saw the North Queensland Cowboys awarded the Telstra One Community NRL Club of the Year as well as showcased a 60-year-old referee from Western Sydney who still pulls on the boots every weekend, a woman who travels up to 300kms to support her junior teams and a club who established Sydney’s first ever all girls junior league team. <br><br> Andrew Ryan, Greg Carey and the Cowboys were tonight honoured alongside local heroes including: <br><br> <br /><b>- Telstra One Community Grassroots Club of the Year - Kellyville Bushrangers, NSW <br /><br>- AAMI Service to the Community Award - Holroyd City Council and Integral Energy NSWRL Western Sydney Academy Inclusive Rugby League program <br /><br>- AAMI Service to Refereeing Award - Glenn Jeffcoat, Canterbury-Bankstown Referees <br /><br>- Harvey Norman Women in League Award: Paid - Deanne Lees, Manly Sea Eagles <br /><br>- Harvey Norman Women In League Award: Volunteer - Sue Fletcher, Springsure RLFC <br /><br>- ARL Development National Teacher of the Year Award: Primary - Ken Hamill, Tully State Primary School, QLD <br /><br>- ARL Development National Teacher of the Year Award: Secondary - Robert Anderson, Bentley Park College, QLD</b> <br /><br><br> “I am humbled to receive this award as my work within the community is not something I feel deserves praise,” Telstra Ken Stephen Medalist, Andrew Ryan, said. <br><br> “Rugby League players have a unique opportunity to make a positive difference to people’s lives and helping wherever we can is not only important work, but it’s something we enjoy doing. <br><br> “Being part of tonight’s celebrations is a huge honour and I have been really taken back by the commitment and dedication of everyone in the room and the hours they spend to help the Rugby League community.” <br><br> First presented in 1988 to honour the long-time secretary of the NSWRL, the late Ken Stephen, winners of the prestigious medal include some of the greats of the game, such as Preston Campbell, Hazem el Masri, David Peachey, Jason Stevens, Paul Harragon, Nathan Blacklock and 2009 winner Nathan Hindmarsh. <br><br> “The One Community Awards is one of Rugby League’s most important and inspiring nights,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said. <br><br> “Everyone here tonight has made an enormous contribution to helping others in the Rugby League and wider community and this is our chance to formally acknowledge their efforts. <br><br> “Congratulations to Andrew and all of tonight’s award winners and finalists and thank you to the entire Rugby League community who devote themselves to helping others enjoy the game.” <br><br> <b>The winners for the 2010 One Community Awards are: <br><br> Telstra Ken Stephen Medal</b> <br><br> Telstra will give $5000 to the winner and $5000 to their favourite charity. <br><br> <b>Winner: Andrew Ryan (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)</b> <br><br> Andrew was awarded the Telstra Ken Stephen Medal for his commitment to the community and ongoing charity endeavours. He is renowned for going over and above through his support of many charities including Camp Quality, Beyond Blue, Greening Australia, Ronald McDonald, Children’s Hospital at Westmead and The Australian Disability Foundation. <br><br> <i>Finalists: Aaron Heremaia (New Zealand Warriors); Anthony Cherrington (Sydney Roosters); Chris Heighington (Wests Tigers); Corey Parker (Brisbane Broncos); David Williams (Manly Sea Eagles); Jarrod Mullen (Newcastle Knights); Luke Priddis (St George Illawarra Dragons); Petero Civoniceva (Penrith Panthers); Preston Campbell (Gold Coast Titans); Reece Williams (Cronulla Sharks); Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne Storm); Scott Bolton (North Queensland Cowboys); Tim Mannah (Parramatta Eels).</i> <br><br> <b>Telstra One Community NRL Club of the Year</b> <br><br> Telstra will provide $10,000 toward the winning club’s community program <br><br> <b>Winner: North Queensland Cowboys</b> <br><br> The North Queensland Cowboys were awarded the Telstra One Community NRL Club of the Year for their dedication to the North Queensland region having spent over 2400 hours in the community through 220 separate visits this season. The Club’s successful Cowboys in the Classroom program has been delivered to schools in conjunction with the Queensland Department of Education and Training’s Smart Classrooms Learning Place to over 1500 students in Years 5 to 7 in schools across Mackay, North Queensland and Far North Queensland in 2010 alone. <br><br> <i>Other finalists: All 16 NRL Clubs were in contention for this Award.</i> <br><br> <b>Telstra One Community Grassroots Club of the Year</b> <br><br> Telstra will provide two Telstra Assistance Packs valued at $2000 plus $2000. <br><br> <b>Winners: Kellyville Bushrangers, NSW</b> <br><br> Running under the motto of “Everyone’s Club”, the Kellyville Bushrangers embrace players and members from all walks of life. The club has 360 junior player members and the Bushrangers have many players with disabilities, both physical and intellectual as well as acute medical conditions. The Bushrangers support a number of charities including the McGrath Foundation and Cure Our Kids, and throughout 2010 the club raised a significant amount of money. <br><br> <i>Other finalists: Edmonton Storm RLC, QLD; Valleys Rugby League, Toowoomba QLD.</i> <br><br> <b>Toyota National Volunteer of the Year</b> <br><br> Toyota will provide $5000 to the winner and $5000 to their club. <br><br> <b>Winner: Greg Carey (Warwick Cowboys, QLD)</b> <br><br> Greg Cary took out the Toyota National Volunteer of the Year Award for his commitment to the Warwick Cowboys RLFC as well as his ongoing support for the game over the last 30 years. First becoming President of the club in 1979 he has held this role for ten consecutive years. Greg came to be President of the club at a time when the Cowboys were in crisis. Not only were the teams losing games on the field, but financially they were in dire straits and were at major risk of folding. With a dedicated network of passionate volunteers behind him, Greg went about raising money for the club through bringing on board new sponsors and a number of fundraising initiatives. The club has undergone a complete turn-around. <br><br> <i>Finalists: Justin Loxley (Lake Cargelligo JRL, NSW); Peter Mortimer (Balmain Tigers/Concord Wolves, NSW); Michael Tierney (Kiama JRL, NSW); Barry Jones (Minchinbury Penrith, NSW); Donna Okunbor (Milperra Colts, NSW); David and Cheryl Smith (South Sydney Juniors, NSW); Debra Gallop (Cairns Juniors, QLD); Steve Henderson (Middlemount Panthers, QLD); Glenn Bartlett (ISIS RLFC, QLD), Henry Louie (Gilgandra JRL, NSW); Col Wright (Nyngan Tigers, NSW); Erika Lampe (Walgett RLFC, NSW).</i> <br><br> <b>AAMI Service to the Community Award</b> <br><br> AAMI will provide $5000 for their community program. <br><br> <b>Winners: Holroyd City Council and Integral Energy NSWRL Western Sydney Academy Inclusive Rugby League program</b> <br><br> The Inclusive Rugby League Volunteer program has trained over 15 Junior Rugby League volunteers with a disability to date in positions such as team manager, team trainer, gear steward, canteen attendant and assistant coach. All 15 of these people have become volunteers at either the NSWRL or a Junior Rugby League Club – a remarkable achievement given junior clubs are always searching for reliable and dedicated volunteers. Currently, Rugby League is the only sport that provides pathways for people with a disability to gain specific volunteering skills to contribute to the grass roots of sport. <br><br> <i>Other finalists: Chris Sheppard, Northern Pride Rugby League Club; Margaret Gordon, The Outback Challenge, Bourke Public School; Esme Tamati, Waitara RLFC (NZ).<i> <br><br> <b>AAMI Service to Refereeing Award</b> <br><br> AAMI will give $2500 to the winning referee. <br><br> <b>Winner: Glenn Jeffcoat, Canterbury Bankstown Referees</b> <br><br> Glenn Jeffcoat has been refereeing for over 20 years and at 60 years old he still pulls on the boots every weekend. During the season Greg spends most of his weekend refereeing games, overseeing players from as young as six right up to A-Grade. On a Saturday during the season he can be found refereeing up to five games and backing up on a Sunday to do it all again. <br><br> <i>Other finalists: David Manson, Brisbane RLFA; Anthony Fletcher, Group 9 RAO, CRL.</i> <br><br> <b>Harvey Norman Women in League Award: Paid</b> <br><br> Harvey Norman will provide a $5000 Harvey Norman gift voucher. <br><br> <b>Winner: Deanne Lees (Manly Sea Eagles)</b> <br><br> Deanne started working with the Manly Sea Eagles 12 years ago, starting as a trainer with the junior teams. In 2001 she joined the administration team as the Football Operations Manager and in 2009 she launched the community department and started to set up the Sea Eagles Foundation. This new role was in addition to her Football Operations Management duties. Deanne has played a part in implementing a number of community based programs for the Sea Eagles including Sea Eagles Read, Grow your own and ‘Eagles Nest’ at Royal Far West Manly. <br><br> <i>Other finalists: Yvette Downey (NSW RL); Diane Langmack (Penrith Panthers)</i> <br><br> <b>Harvey Norman Women In League Award: Volunteer</b> <br><br> Harvey Norman will provide a $5000 Harvey Norman gift voucher. <br><br> <b>Winner: Sue Fletcher (Springsure RLFC)</b> <br><br> For the last 18 years Sue has been involved with Springsure Rugby League Football Club. She started with the club when her two sons took up the sport. Since this time she has performed almost every role possible with the club including registrar, treasurer and secretary for a number of years at a time. Going above her title she fills many roles within the senior rugby league club including catering, bar work, gate person for home games, selling raffle ticket and licensing coordinator to name a few. Living 45 kilometres from Springsure on a rural property Sue can travel anywhere up to 330kms for a club meeting. She is a dedicated supporter of the teams and travels to all away games, even though none of her own children play at this time. <br><br> <i>Other finalists: Penny Morgan (Kellyville Bushrangers); Jennifer Hunt (Cronulla Sutherland RA); Jenny Nahu (Ngongotaha and Bay of Plenty RLFC, NZ).</i> <br><br> <b>ARL Development National Teacher of the Year Award: Primary</b> <br><br> ARLD will provide $2500 to the winning teacher and a $500 equipment pack for their school. <br><br> <b>Winner: Ken Hamill – Tully State Primary School</b> <br><br> Ken has been involved in Rugby League through Tully State Primary School since 1976 and believes that sport is an integral part of education. Through Rugby League’s popularity in the North Queensland area, Ken believes that it is an essential tool in improving kids’ behaviour and academic levels. Each week Ken dedicates up to 15 hours above his usual teaching duties to the implement various Rugby League initiatives into Tully State. These include interschool competitions, Cowboys in the Classroom programs and class tipping competitions. <br><br> <i>Finalists: Graham Cummins, North Rocks Primary School; Helen Cooper, South Wagga Public School, CRL.</i> <br><br> <b>ARL Development National Teacher of the Year Award: Secondary</b> <br><br> ARLD will provide $2500 to the winning teacher and a $500 equipment pack for their school. <br><br> <b>Winner: Robert Anderson, Bentley Park College</b> <br><br> Robert has established a school based Rugby League program at Bentley Park College in Cairns. Working under the motto of “developing the person and the player” the program uses Rugby League to encourage secondary school students to stay engaged in their schooling. Participants must meet school attendance criteria to take part and once involved in the program they undertake Rugby League based knowledge that focuses on nutrition, as well as social and emotional well being. Robert Anderson says “we are trying to provide opportunities for the kids to engage in school and do something with their lives when they finish their schooling education.” <br><br> <i>Finalists: Hamish Pearce, Victoria University Secondary College; Troy Weeden, Ashcroft High School.</i>